More photos from yet more dog walking pathways (I'm sorry for repeating a theme, but these are the only places I have been this week - see, even the dogs get out to more socially exciting places than me).
This is an off-leash area alongside the Bow River (which is not yet frozen - won't be too long) in Cochrane, Alberta. I won't go into my mini rant at the moment about the frustrating rules and regulations for walking dogs around here.
Suffice to say, this area is awash with every size and breed of canine imaginable, shouting at the top of their woofing lungs "I'm freeeeeee ... "
They then embark on a major exchange of bum-sniffing rituals - as the guys chat up the laydeez, and the boys check out the other boys with their "I'm well hard but I can't stop my tail wagging at you" killer-stare. And the girls just flutter their eyelashes and then squat with girly, gay abandon.
There are many cries of "He's nicked my ball" and "It was my stick first". And of course, in the summer time there are the perpetual whining complaints of "...but he's allowed to go swimming, why can't I?". Occasionally, the bad-boy behaviour erupts and an ear gets nipped, or a set of teeth are accused of gnashing a bit too hard.
And maybe (I can't say too much) - a dog sitting not too far from me right now, might rise up and place two distinct filthy muddy paw-prints on the back of a middle-aged woman's new white coat, but shhhh, I didn't say anything ....
But in an air of dog-loving entente cordiale, everyone rubs along pretty well.
But this is a quite lovely, peaceful, pretty and liberating (for the dogs) place to wander in the summer or winter time. Sometimes even the dog-owners stop and exchange pleasantries - but I draw a line at sniffing their bums too.
There is a campsite alongside the river here. Perhaps more enticing in the summer when it is not a frozen winterland when, I suspect, you would probably have to insulate the pipes on your huge RV with more layers than someone on a polar expedition.
And look at those skies. That photo is not enhanced - that really is the colour of the sky - and if you look carefully you can see a little splotch of a moon who forgot to go to bed last night.
So wishing everyone a really super, dooper New Year, and here's me raising a glass to a wonderful, fulfilling and rewarding 2010 for you all. May your Skywatches be beautiful, your blog entries be sparkling, and your friendships be all you wish for.
For more SkyWatch pictures from around the world, click here.